: Despite their biological simplicity, microRNA-based organisms, such as RNA viruses, are currently shown to be unexpected threats to mammals, including humans. This situation is exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic triggered by the spread of SARS-CoV-2. RNA viruses are older than DNA viruses. Indeed, from an evolutionary standpoint, RNA is an older molecule than DNA. The strength of RNA viruses, compared to DNA viruses, resides in their simplicity and instability. The instability of RNA viruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and flu viruses, generates mutants to escape the host's defense mechanisms. A formidable combination of lethality and infectivity was recently achieved by SARS-CoV-2. Complex DNAbased defense systems use Toll-like receptors to intercept viral RNA inside a cell. Activation of Toll-like receptors triggers inflammation and activates lymphocytes and monocytes, causing thromboxane release. In the case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, this process results in cytokine storms and lung thromboembolism. The ongoing pandemic can be envisioned as a struggle between highly evolved complex DNA organisms, i.e., humans, and poorly evolved simple RNA organisms, i.e., SARS-CoV-2 virus. Quite surprisingly, the complex organism has a serious problem defeating the simplistic organism. However, humans are finally developing a new effective weapon in fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, paradoxically, RNA-based vaccines. These considerations underscore the relevance of microRNAs as powerful tools in therapeutic and preventive medicine.

The MicroRNA Days: The COVID-19 Pandemic from the Point of View of Short RNAs

Izzotti, Alberto
2021

Abstract

: Despite their biological simplicity, microRNA-based organisms, such as RNA viruses, are currently shown to be unexpected threats to mammals, including humans. This situation is exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic triggered by the spread of SARS-CoV-2. RNA viruses are older than DNA viruses. Indeed, from an evolutionary standpoint, RNA is an older molecule than DNA. The strength of RNA viruses, compared to DNA viruses, resides in their simplicity and instability. The instability of RNA viruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and flu viruses, generates mutants to escape the host's defense mechanisms. A formidable combination of lethality and infectivity was recently achieved by SARS-CoV-2. Complex DNAbased defense systems use Toll-like receptors to intercept viral RNA inside a cell. Activation of Toll-like receptors triggers inflammation and activates lymphocytes and monocytes, causing thromboxane release. In the case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, this process results in cytokine storms and lung thromboembolism. The ongoing pandemic can be envisioned as a struggle between highly evolved complex DNA organisms, i.e., humans, and poorly evolved simple RNA organisms, i.e., SARS-CoV-2 virus. Quite surprisingly, the complex organism has a serious problem defeating the simplistic organism. However, humans are finally developing a new effective weapon in fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, paradoxically, RNA-based vaccines. These considerations underscore the relevance of microRNAs as powerful tools in therapeutic and preventive medicine.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1078927
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